The network decides not to move forward with the drama pilot which has drawn concern from the Muslim community about 'potential stereotyping.'
ABC Family has scrapped the controversial "Alice in Arabia" pilot. After getting pressure from Muslim advocacy group, the network has finally pulled the plug on the project which would revolve around "an American teenage girl kidnapped by her extended royal Saudi Arabian family and forced to live with them."
"The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process," an ABC Family spokesperson says in a statement released on Friday, March 21, "so we've decided not to move forward with this project."
Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) previously expressed its concern about potential stereotyping. "We are concerned that, given media references to the main character 'surviving life behind the veil,' the pilot and any resulting series may engage in stereotyping that can lead to things like bullying of Muslim students," CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said on Wednesday, March 19.
Tom Ascheim of CAIR-LA also wrote in a letter to ABC Family, "As the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, we are concerned about the negative impact this program could have on the lives of ordinary Arab-American and American Muslims."
"Alice in Arabia" pilot was written by Brooke Eikmeier, a U.S. Army veteran who worked as a cryptologic linguist in the Arabic language. She was trained to support NSA missions in the Middle East and concluded her military service in September 2013 as a rank E-4 specialist. The network announced the series order for the drama pilot along with "Recovery Road" and "Unstrung" on Wednesday.